Jennifer Close '08
be idealistic at BC
Boston College taught Jennifer Close that there is a tangible way to realize the loftiest ideals. “I loved that I could actually work toward a minor in ‘Faith, Peace, and Justice,’” recalls the College of Arts and Sciences alumna, who majored in International Studies. “At BC, I saw that my deepest values could be the foundation of my life’s work.”
Now, Close works with the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C., with the ambitious goal of revitalizing the federal government. As program manager for the education and outreach team, she is charged with inspiring and educating the next generation of civil service workers.
“We are trying to transform the way government works, in part by encouraging talented young people to go into public service,” she says. “I’m putting idealism into practice every day.”
What has been the most satisfying moment in your professional life?
It has been incredibly rewarding to develop and implement projects and programs designed to promote public service. Each time that I have seen or heard about their impact has been more satisfying than the last.
In your personal life?
The point at which I realized that I had firmly established myself and my career in a new city—Washington, D.C.
What is your next goal?
I plan to pursue an MBA.
What is the secret to success?
Know yourself and what makes you happy, and don’t settle for anything less.
Why did you decide to attend BC?
BC was the first school I visited and ultimately, the only one I needed to see. The University's rich academic and athletic traditions appealed to me, but it was the sense of community and commitment to service that convinced me BC was the right fit.
What is one thing everyone should do at BC?
Find a mentor. BC has such talented faculty and staff, and the right person can really shape your college experience.
What is your fondest BC memory?
I'm not sure that I can choose just one. From football games to late night at Lower to study abroad, my time at BC was a series of memorable moments with unforgettable people.
Where is your favorite spot on the Heights?
There is no place where I feel more at home than in Bapst Library.
How have you changed since graduation?
I am more confident in who I am, what I want to do, and the role that I hope to play in society.
What would you do if you were BC president for a day?
I would meet with students to find out about their experiences at BC and their ideas for improving the university, and then put as many of these items into effect as possible.
Where did you live freshman year?
I lived on Upper Campus in Fenwick Hall.
What was your favorite BC class?
Perspectives with Professor Cronin challenged and motivated me, and the course really helped to shape my academic path.
What was your favorite BC activity?
The International Assistant Program, followed closely by the Arrupe International Immersion Program. Both allowed me to meet great people and learn about myself and the world around me.
How much can you sing of the BC fight song?
Not enough! This is a good reminder to put learning more of it on my to-do list.
What was the best meal at the BC dining hall?
The Hillside New England classic panini and chips, no question—and maybe one of their great cookies!
What was your first job?
Paid? Camp counselor. Unpaid? Big sister.
How do you relax?
Running, doing yoga, reading, and, of course, taking deep breaths.
What do you look forward to each day?
I truly have the opportunity to make a difference; that’s a great feeling.
What is something your friends don’t know about you?
I would love to have my own radio show.
Who would play you in the film version of your life?
Rachel McAdams, but I’d definitely want to make a cameo appearance!